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In cyber-security circles, 2016 was the year of ransomware. Hackers focused their attention on exploiting Internet users and businesses around the world for profit through ransom extortion. According to the FBI, cyberextortion losses have skyrocketed and ransomware was on track to become a $1 billion a year crime in 2016.
Unfortunately, signs do not show this trend slowing down in 2017. Hackers are becoming more advanced, and ransomware remains an incredibly easy, lucrative way for them to make money.
Here are a few trends that researchers feel will be thrown at us in 2017:
Ransomware will move to personal/home computers very soon.
If an attacker can recognize the difference between an enterprise and a consumer target, they will be able to adapt their ransom demands to match their victims. As we saw with last October’s DDoS attack, home IoT appliances were easily compromised. In addition to encrypting files, ransomware attackers will soon be threatening to post data or information on social media. As with most cyber attacks, ransomware will grow to take advantage of more human vulnerabilities.
Anti-Virus and Malware applications will need help
Since the huge influx of enterprise related ransomware attacks over the past year, researchers have been hard at work developing ways to help customers deal with ransomware encryptions. For the most part, encryption ‘de-cryptors’ are needed to unlock the malware codes that prevent you from getting into your data.
However, when a ransomware descriptor is recognized, ransomware authors often tweak their attacks to avoid detection. As this cat and mouse game between security researchers and ransomware creators continues, more security vendors will debut anti-ransomware protection offerings. Both companies and consumers will find themselves considering new anti-ransomware security software as an investment, not just another software purchase..
Is your Password Manager vulnerable?
In 2016, Password Managers became popular due to both convenience and security with strong password generation. So, the chances are that in 2017, Password Managers will become a huge target for cybercriminals. For a hacker, breaking into an online password generation/storage service could lead to a whole new treasure trove of valuable information. The top password managers are likely to find themselves under attack in 2017.
The digital wallet will prove to be totally insecure
Both Apple Pay and Google Wallet are being marketed as convenient ways to purchase products & services. All you have to do is hold your phone close to a specialized wi-fi or Bluetooth reader at the cash register and boom, payment is automatically transferred. But much like debit cards, that transaction has proven to be totally insecure and easy to replicate. They will be the wireless equivalent of card skimmers used at gas stations and check out machines in stores.
New exploit kits will be developed to take advantage of careless users
There has been a rise in the spread of malware kits sold over the internet to the bad guys. These ‘kits’ are simply pre-written codes that can be modified by a savvy code writer to create a wide variety of exploits.
Companies and consumers have figured out how to block Java and Flash and are moving to HTML5, making it harder for the existing exploit kits to succeed in deploying malware through malvertising. This opens up a massive opportunity for a new, sophisticated and dangerous exploit kit to emerge in the next year.
Malware will increasingly become a tool of tech support specialists that are really scammers
Tech support scams (TSS) have become incredibly advanced and dangerous over the last few years and most recently we have witnessed TSS deploying malware, and even extortionware. In 2017, TSS attackers will dive into this benefit headfirst and leverage the malware threat landscape more than ever before.
The IoT will make us all aware of the danger of DDoS attacks
Based on the sheer volume of devices that we have connected to the Internet today, the very real challenge of securing home and business routers and home/office appliances will become a top priority. Beyond the type of attack that happened last October, we can expect hackers targeting critical infrastructure such as the power grid or government communications.
Security will be moved to the top as a priority for small and medium sized businesses
The need to have someone technical with a background in security on your senior staff is currently at an incredibly high premium—across all industries. This will only continue to grow over the next year, as we continue to watch it evolve as one of the top business and political priorities for the next few years.
Be Safe – Backup Your Data Regularly!
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